The economy is recovering, but many businesses are still looking for ways to cut back. Especially for new carwash owners, the importance of saving on upfront costs in order to open a location is paramount.

Operators know that location is probably the most important element when it comes to running a carwash. Investment in a high-traffic location with good visibility will likely pay off in the long run. Other essential parts of a carwash include security, a business and marketing plan, building and, of course, equipment.

Equipment is integral to the operation of a carwash, and it can be expensive. Since it affects how customers perceive the quality of your wash, it is important to not skimp even when saving on costs. For some owners, restored equipment may be an appropriate way to save money when startup funds are low.

Don’t sacrifice quality

When the economy crashed several years ago, businesses inside and outside of the car care industry struggled. With less revenue coming in, owners looked for ways to cut back. “We saw an uptake in some of our rebuild stuff because [it] is about half the price of something you would buy new today,” says Mark Remillard, president of ALLWASH Inc.

Certified, pre-owned equipment can be built for various price points, notes Remillard. It provides another option for the carwash owner who may not have or doesn’t wish to spend the money needed to purchase brand new equipment.

Refurbished equipment should work just as well or better than new equipment so quality is not sacrificed. Extensive testing is one way to ensure this equipment is ready to be used in a professional carwash.

Before it is shipped to a customer, restored equipment goes through extensive testing. For ALLWASH, this means a computer shows the machine going through proper logic without faults. Equipment must wash 100 vehicles without an incident.

Is it right for you?

Refurbished equipment offers entrepreneurs and other owners additional choices when a change in equipment is needed.

We serve a niche business,” shares Mark Remillard, who added the company serves a target market market in the $60-70,000-dollar price point.

Interested owners should look at their own needs to decide what the best option is for their unique situations. It may not be for everyone, but restored equipment can help some carwash operators set up successful businesses that provide high-quality customer experiences at a fraction of the price.